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Motherhood in Difficult Situations

While motherhood usually includes plenty of challenges, most women are not prepared for the crises that may occur. As moms learn to adjust to motherhood in difficult situations, they will often find joy in unexpected places.

As a young married woman, I was excited to start a family. I had dreamed of being a mother since I was 5 years old. When I became pregnant for the first time, I suppose I was like most expectant moms. I found myself dreaming of all of the wonderful experiences I would have with this child and more to come. I knew that there would be a lot of hard work involved and plenty of unexpected struggles. However, I was also confident that God would be with me through this journey and that He would provide hope during difficult times.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).

Real Joy, Real Pain

As the mother of two adult daughters, I can say that being a mother has been the greatest joy of my life. I recall the exhilaration of new skills learned and the excitement of celebrations. Perhaps most satisfying, however, were those moments that may have seemed inconsequential to others. They are among my most coveted memories. Reading stories together, seeing my kids love their friends, and having conversations with my teens about their futures were truly rewarding experiences.

But that only tells half of the story. I wasn’t prepared for the daily heartache I felt while coping with some extraordinary challenges my children faced. God did carry me through and help me endure motherhood in difficult situations. In retrospect, I can see that suffering as a mother strengthened my faith and made me more dependent on God. What I learned through persevering was life-changing. In the midst of several traumatic events, however, it was just painful. And I imagine that many other moms can relate to that pain — moms like Kari.

A Change of Plans

Kari was well on her way to planning her dream wedding. She was excited about her stunning dress, the gorgeous floral bouquets, and the venue. Most of all, she was excited to be marrying Noah, the love of her life. Unfortunately, Kari was diagnosed with cancer before the wedding. Noah stood by her through this illness, patiently praying and waiting for her to be healthy enough for them to begin their life together. In September, three years after the original wedding date, Kari and Noah were married.

The newlyweds quickly started planning for a future family. Since both Noah and Kari came from large families, they were hoping to have at least five children. The delay in their marriage meant that they wanted to start soon. They assumed that they’d had enough “in sickness and in health” for a lifetime and were excited to begin the process of trying to conceive.

Unexpected Challenges

Getting pregnant was fairly easy for Kari, but it soon became clear that carrying a baby to full term would be a challenge. She and Noah dealt with a difficult situation when after a first miscarriage, there was a second one and then a third. Kari learned that she had a rare medical condition that made the completion of a pregnancy highly unlikely.

Each loss added a new layer of grief to their lives. Kari and Noah were devastated over the realization that they may never be able to have biological children. After consulting with an OB/GYN, receiving counseling, and working with their pastor, Kari and Noah decided to continue to attempt to conceive. Two more miscarriages followed before Kari conceived and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Emmibeth. After little Emmi was born, they decided to adopt three more children: twin boys from Russia and a two-year-old girl from Romania.

Kari and Noah often discuss the special challenges and difficult situations they have faced with all of their children. While difficulties for Emmi came before she was born, the challenges that they have faced with their adopted children — Sasha, Mikal, and Sopi — came after birth due to the impoverished environments in which they were born. Their challenges include behaviors related to past trauma, illness related to malnutrition, and physical and emotional disabilities. Thankfully, there are many services available to help Kari and her family cope with these issues. She is clear that her family has been blessed to receive care and support from many gifted and competent doctors, therapists, social workers, teachers, and other caregivers.

Responding to Difficult Situations

While Kari and Noah are grateful for their family, Kari has found it especially difficult to reconcile her expectations of what motherhood would be like with the reality of her current life. Therefore, she joined a support group with other moms who have found healthy ways to cope with motherhood in difficult situations. She’s careful to point out that there have been many unexpected gifts that have come with her unique motherhood journey and that she deeply loves her children.

The joy of being a mom can sometimes be disturbed by difficult situations in life. No woman expects such challenges when dreaming of being a mother. Excitement and anticipation typically ebb and flow with each new stage of motherhood. However, as moms cope with unpredictable situations, these feelings may be disrupted. As moms learn to adjust to disruptions, they will often find joy in unexpected places.

“And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do” (Deuteronomy 14:29).

Here are a number of difficult situations mothers may face, some of the realities that go along with these difficulties, and how to find help and support in these situations.

1. Pregnancy Losses

There are a variety of reasons that some women experience the loss of a pregnancy. These losses may cause them to feel fearful and anxious as they go through subsequent pregnancies. While nearly all women feel grief after the loss of a pregnancy, many will take time to grieve, heal, and will be able to conceive again. However, because each woman is unique and experiences loss differently, a woman’s response to a pregnancy loss may range from sadness to devastation.

The death of a baby in the womb, during labor, or after birth is difficult on so many levels. There is the loss of the child, of course, but there is also an abrupt end to what the mom and dad have been anticipating for many months: the dreams for their child and the new roles they would adopt as parents. Moms must also cope with hormonal changes. These changes are a reminder that the baby she longed for is gone. She then has to tell others about the loss. Parents often face months of painful explanations to people who are looking to congratulate them and meet their new baby.

Abortion

A woman’s life after an abortion may be filtered through the lens of confusion and guilt. Contrary to what is sometimes reported, many women do not choose abortion as a convenient way to end an inconvenience in their lives. Instead, they often feel trapped in a difficult situation and that there is no other viable option. These women may face years of depression and guilt. Later in life when they have children, the daily reminder of what they lost may be heartbreaking.

With good support, women who have had an abortion can process their grief and loss. They can seek the Lord for forgiveness and find shelter in the loving arms of a gracious Father.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

Many women suffer in silence for decades before receiving help. This delays a woman’s opportunity to experience the freeing forgiveness of the Lord. And it may also keep her from being available to minister to other moms who are considering an abortion or struggling after an abortion. It’s helpful to encourage women touched by abortion to seek help as soon as possible.

Support For a Pregnancy Loss

If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Give yourself time to grieve and heal — both physically and emotionally.
  2. Seek the support of other moms who have experienced similar losses.
  3. Reach out to some of the programs that are well-equipped to help you heal. M.E.N.D. , Care Net, and Surrendering the Secret are three excellent resources to get you started.

2. A Mother or Child’s Illness

It is fairly common for parents to look to the future without planning for an unexpected crisis. However, it’s not uncommon for mothers and children to be faced with physical or mental illness. These experiences may interfere with opportunities for moms and their kids to connect regularly and to celebrate special events. It is painful for moms in these situations to cope with her, or her children, having to miss out on times of connection that build supportive relationships for the future. Additionally, parents may find it difficult to care for siblings of sick children as they rally to tackle an illness or prepare for the loss of a child.

Illnesses tend to remove regular routines from life as the focus becomes moving from one hospital stay to the next, or back and forth between appointments. Life slows down or stands still as the illness determines the family’s rhythm. Treatments may also be so costly that families need to adjust their finances and living situations in order to afford quality care. Stress and loss are common experiences when physical or mental illnesses become part of mothering. In these cases, families often have to redefine a new normal.

Creating a Support System

It’s often helpful for parents to put together a support system in order to cope with difficult situations such as unexpected illness. Here are some resources for finding and building a strong support system:

  • Trusted friends and family members
  • Doctors and other medical professionals
  • Mental health professionals
  • Teachers and other education professionals
  • Pastors
  • Financial advisors
  • Fellow patients and their families

God doesn’t expect us to walk through the journey of parenthood alone. We are encouraged to recognize that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). We are also told to help one another in Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Real Families, Real Needs

Caring for a loved one with a disability can be tough, but with Joni and friends you're not alone!

Your family will grow closer as they find strength and encouragement in a community that truly understands.

3. A Child’s Disability

Many who are mothers of children with Down syndrome are inspired by their infectious joy, acceptance of all, and endless empathy. While these and other unexpected rewards come with mothering a child with a disability, there are also plenty of challenges. It can be similar to mothering a child with an illness. However, while an illness may be cured or in remission for years at a time, many disabilities may cause permanent physical or mental impairments. These may limit a child’s ability to participate in essential activities for daily living. A disability may make it difficult for a child to care for himself, progress through school, walk, talk, or get a job.

Different Types of Disabilities

Some disabilities, such as visual or auditory disabilities, may only affect one area of a child’s life. In these cases, with the help of physicians, visual therapists, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists, moms may be able to help their child adjust to the disability without experiencing significant disruptions. The effects of other conditions may cause disabilities in physical, emotional, cognitive, psychological, and social areas. Some examples of disorders that may cause a variety of delays are: Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, spina bifida, and autism. When children are born with these conditions, moms may have to readjust their expectations for their children in regard to reaching developmental milestones.

Still, mothers are privileged to celebrate new accomplishments as they come, even if not when expected. Moms see other children progress through the ages and stages of childhood typically, while their children may be delayed in one or more areas. Therefore, moms of children with special needs often become familiar with grief and loss. However, there is often unpredictable excitement and celebration along the way. With the help of a support team, including family, friends, and medical professionals, parents of children with disabilities can experience life with great hope and deep joy.

Caregiving and Support

Caring for children with disabilities that affect many areas of development takes quite a bit of time, energy, money, and emotional resources. This may put a strain on a marriage or on other typically developing children in the family. Some moms have to accept the idea that their children will never be able to live independently. Therefore, they will need to make long term arrangements for their children to live with them or in a supportive environment. Mothers of children with disabilities may have to give up some of the freedoms that other moms enjoy. They typically find themselves needing to put their goals on hold while they seek help for their children.

Fortunately, with good support, families can learn many ways to adjust to the challenges of a disability. Then they have the time to be impacted by the many contributions of a child with special challenges. And they may be inspired by their perseverance and touched by the hope that results. Romans 5:3-5 reminds us:

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Available Resources

Thankfully, there are many resources available to help children with disabilities and their families. In the United States, all states are required to have early childhood intervention programs. These programs provide free or low-cost evaluations for children up to the age of 3 who are suspected of having a developmental delay or disabilities. Those who qualify receive therapy and other intervention services at minimal cost. When children are over 3 years of age and have a qualified diagnosis, public schools in their area are required to have special education services available to address their needs. Schools may only offer a limited amount of help, but there are numerous organizations — such as the Children’s Hospital Association, March of Dimes, and Easter Seals —  that can offer assistance to kids in need of special services.

4. Mothering Through a Traumatic Incident

A mother’s routine with her child may be affected by an unexpected traumatic incident. Some examples might include the loss of a family member due to death, divorce, or incarceration. Or a frightening event such as a natural disaster or school shooting might impact the family. In these instances, both the mom and the child are grieving at the same time. There are typically a number of changes, and reactions to those changes, that need to be addressed. It’s common for people to question where God is when tragic events occur, but also for them to turn to God for answers. There is solace in knowing that God cares for us in the most difficult of circumstances.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Family Therapy

In addition to leaving a family feeling crushed, these events may disrupt the family’s equilibrium. It takes intentional effort to bring things back to a state of balance. This is an excellent time to seek the help of a family therapist. Often, people who resist the idea of mental health treatment for other problems in their lives are able to understand that a traumatic incident has impacted their family in a significant way, and realize they need help to restore order and provide comfort for each other. The incident becomes the identified culprit rather than a family member. A family therapist will focus on the impact that the incident has had on the functioning of the family. He or she will work with the family to address concerns and come up with some solutions for healing.

For counseling services and referrals, this is a great place to start.

5. Adopting a Child From a Traumatic Background

Other moms may adopt children from foster care. God calls us to care for children and some are called to be foster or adoptive families. The rewards for parents and children who participate in foster care are abundant. On one hand, parents may be positively impacted by the experience of being exposed to a new culture and having the opportunity to encourage birth moms and dads. On the other hand, children entering into foster care are typically doing so because their birth parents are unable to care for them. So they are introduced to an environment where they can feel safe and well cared for. They may begin to enjoy experiences they haven’t had before and benefit from others’ kindness, such as celebrating their birthdays and appreciating their unique skills. Children also benefit from living in an environment where they can learn about their feelings and behaviors.

Some parents adopt children from foreign orphanages where the care may have been substandard, neglectful, or abusive. Or they become parents of children whose mothers had drug or alcohol addictions. Others may have been victims of domestic violence. It’s a blessing for families to be able to open their hearts and their homes to provide a safer, more loving environment for these children. However, the physical and psychological trauma that these children experienced in the womb or after birth has deeply affected them.

Meeting Challenges

So along with the joys of being a foster or adoptive family, there are usually some challenges. Parenting techniques that work for kids from healthy backgrounds do not always work for kids who come from difficult situations. Being the mother of a child from a traumatic background is challenging. There will likely be attachment issues, behavioral concerns, and potentially things like eating and self-care problems.

Because friends and family members don’t always understand that the child’s issues are related to past trauma, they may become frustrated when traditional methods of parenting are not successful. This can leave foster and/or adoptive moms feeling defensive, alone, and isolated. Even worse, these moms may be made to feel as if they are inadequate by people who blame faulty parenting for the child’s problems. Therefore, specific help from physicians, social workers, mental health experts, and others is necessary. A program known as Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) has been shown to be particularly helpful for parents and kids who are struggling with early trauma. Also, Back2Back Ministries offers research-based principles and strategies to support families parenting children with trauma histories.

Support Is the Key in Difficult Situations

My parenting journey has included difficult pregnancies, a child’s disability, and a chronic illness that nearly took the life of my beloved daughter. Our family was also exposed to multiple traumatic incidents and the suicides of several people close to us. I didn’t expect to have to cope with any of those experiences as a mother. However, I found comfort in knowing that God knew what was to transpire in my life and that of my family. We struggled through and survived each of these trials by remaining focused on the love and grace of God. And building a network of personal and professional supporters was and is essential for motherhood in difficult situations. The journey was burdensome but prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and faith — along with the support of many others — was instrumental in moving our family toward healing and hope.

If you are finding it hard to cope as a mother, for any reason, please feel free to call Focus on the Family and talk with one of our counselors at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

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If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).
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Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

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Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you!